Aluminum Powerbook Logic board upgrade

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Joined: Dec 29 2006
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I was going to get a powerbook for school and I was wondering if all of the aluminum powerbooks can take all albook logic boards, or is it like the tibook vga/dvi thing. I'm only asking because i'm tight on cash and could afford the upgrade later. besides, I love to tinker Laughing out loud

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iantm's picture
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Well, it depends. Now, my exp

Well, it depends. Now, my experiences are primarily with the 15" Aluminum PowerBooks, though I have some experience with the 12" ones as well. As for the 17" ones - not a clue.

For the 15" Aluminum PowerBooks - any logic board from the 1.0/1.25ghz model and the 1.33/1.5 ghz (mid 2004 model) will work - though make sure to get the corresponding heat sink with the 1.33/1.5 logic board. The 1.5/1.67 boards from the early 2005 and later revision will not work (the internal arrangement is just a little different - but enough that none of what you already have will work. (apple switched from adb to usb for the internal trackpad in the jan 2005 PowerBooks among other things)

For the 12" Aluminum PowerBooks - you're stuck at 867, 1.0 can go to 1.33, the 1.5, like the 867 is on an island of its own.

As for being tight on cash - chances are good that you are unlikely to redo the logic board unless you luck into a dropped faster PowerBook. I boosted a 1.0ghz 15" AiBook to a 1.5ghz model some years ago. (got a dropped powerbook for bits) For the price differential between the 1.0/1.25 and 1.33/1.5 ghz PowerBooks, buy what you want now. It'll be cheaper that way in the long run.

For the record - I consider the 15" Aluminum PowerBook to be the greatest laptop ever made by Apple.

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how about in the ibook g4s? a

how about in the ibook g4s? any idea with those?

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Laptop Motherboard swapping

Contradude wrote:

how about in the ibook g4s? any idea with those?

If you search around you'll find threads on that question. As I recall it's pretty much the same answer. (Spotty compatibility between successive generations, with the fastest ones completely different from earlier models.)

Personally, to be blunt, I think you'd be a fool to buy a Powerbook or iBook intending to do a motherboard upgrade on it. The prices of PowerBook G4s in particular are squeezed into such a narrow range now, with the difference between a 1.0Ghz and a 1.5Ghz specimen in "decent" shape only a couple hundred dollars. (About $600 vs. about $800) You simply are *not* going to find the parts to convert one to the other for $200 or less unless you have good connections. (You work for a company that's tossing out broken Powerbooks, you have a good friend who does, etc.)

Laptops are *not* desktop computers. They're full of millions of different sized and differently placed screws, connectors, and assorted funny-shaped metal fiddly-bits which are *specific* to a given model. And by "model" here what's really meant is "manufacturing run". Apple slapped the name "PowerBook G4" onto silver-colored laptops with 15 inch LCDs for six straight years, but that innocent naming scheme obfuscates a *lot* of design diversity. Judging just from the externals it looks like just two "models", "Titanium" and "Aluminum", but in truth there were no fewer then three different major redesigns under the skin of each one. Even with models that are "mostly similar", like a *second model* 667Mhz vs. 1Ghz Titanium, or a 1.0 vs *first model* 1.5 Ghz Aluminum (There are two 667s and two 1.5s , both very different inside from their same-speed counterpart.) there are usually enough small details such as different heatsinks which can complicate part-swapping to the point that the only sure way to put together a working laptop is to have a reasonably complete "donor" machine (rather then just a bare logic board) when performing such swaps.

Anyway. The economics simply don't make sense unless you have a parts connection, and even if the parts do just fall into your lap it's fiddly and unpleasant business. Further, the prices of used Apple laptops are so inflated anyway I'd really have to question the wisdom of taking apart a working one and performing a heroic and potentially dangerous motherboard swap just to gain a few hundred Mhz of CPU speed. Honestly I can't tell the difference between a 1Ghz and a 1.5Ghz G4 Aluminum just using it. They're both "fine" for surfing the web, they're both a lot slower then a Macbook for anything where CPU oomph matters. You're talking a lot of money and annoyance for very little gain. If a G4 of any speed starts feeling too slow sell it and get a Macbook. The price difference is nil. Which argues strongly against getting a G4 at all unless you *must* have PowerPC native compatibility, but that's a whole other argument.

--Peace

P.S. Maybe someone needs to put a FAQ together detailing roughly what boards will go into what, so we can point it out when this question comes up.

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lol, I wasn't trying to be di

lol, I wasn't trying to be difficult and I understand that they went through different revisions. kinda like the old powerbook g3's... I figured as much on the logic board switch. I'd gladly help, but my field of knowledge on mac innards is either really old school (like 68k macs or early power macs) or really new school... like core 2 duo intelmacs. I've got a B&W to tinker with though... anywho, thanks

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Well, iBook G4's are actually

Well, iBook G4's are actually my area of specialty. Here's how it goes with iBook G4's.

The late 2003 (800mhz 12", 933mhz,1ghz 14") models can take logic boards from the early 2004 models (1064mhz 12", 1.2ghz 14") - the caveat being that the 56k modem will no longer work (the connector changed) and you will need to replace the internal fan (the cord is too short for the later model logic boards). The late 2004 models will not interchange with the prior models, nor will the mid 2005 models. Starting with the late 04 models, Apple started trying to work out some of the issues inherent in the dual USB form factor iBook. The late 04 and mid 05 model iBooks are probably the most solid dependable iBooks you'll find in the dual usb iBook form factor.

The late 2004 models were the first iBooks with a usb trackpad instead of the adb trackpads that were in use up to that point. There were also a few internal tweaks in this revision, as well as the mid 05.

I've owned a bunch of 15" Aluminum PowerBooks, and iBooks (g3 and g4). My wife has an early 04 iBook G4 12" 1064mhz and I've got a late 04 iBook G4 14" 1.33.

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I agree wholeheartedly with E

I agree wholeheartedly with Eudimorphodon. Unless there is software you have to run that just isn't compatible with Rosetta, I wouldn't buy a Powerbook G4. Right now they're in the Overvalued part of the used Apple lifecycle, with prices hovering right below the price for a used Macbook. Even a Core Duo 1.83 GHz Macbook will be faster than any of the G4s, and OS 9 applications run fairly well inside SheepShaver if Classic is one of your concerns.

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Craigslist prices have been d

Craigslist prices have been dropping a lot lately. I've seen people post Macbooks for under $800, while there are still others who post 17" G4 Powerbooks for $1400... G4 iBooks have been dropping into the $200-400 range.

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Re: Aluminum Powerbook Logic board upgrade

Just wanted to add a note of interest to this thread.

I ACCIDENTALLY, and successfully, upgraded my 867mhz board to a 1.0ghz board. I purchased a replacement motherboard on ebay thinking it was an 867. I did not see the difference until I had the board install nearly complete. When re-inserting the ribbon cables, I found that 3 of them were slightly different. 2 at the bottom left near the hard drive, and what I recall was the bluetooth connection. The two near the HD were simple, since apple merely combined these two (2 pin and 4 pin) into one 6-pin connector. I trimmed the right side of the 2-pin and the left side of the 4-pin so they would fit into the female 6-pin slot on the MB. As for the BT ribbon - I just guessed. The 867 BT ribbon is 3-pin, the 1.0 MB female connector is 4-pin. I installed the connector to the right, towards the CD-ROM, leaving one pin on the MB un-attached. So far the computer works just fine, I'm just glad to have it come back to life. I suspect the BT does not work properly, but I don't use it and probably never will at this point so that is no concern.

The 1.0 MB cost me $16 total off of eBay - so I am pleased as punch to have this computer running again. I paid nearly $5k for this laptop brand new in 2003, so you can imagine I want to keep it running.

Joe - Medford, OR

Mac OS

Powerbook G4 12"
1.0ghz / 1.25gb Ram
120gb / 5400 HD
Mac OS 10.5.8 (maximum OS)